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Budget Public Hearing Draws Criticism From Residents

April 3, 2013 by Josh Morgan

A few residents took the opportunity to voice their opinions on the proposed $101.8 million Operating Budget at last night’s public hearing.
At the Town Council meeting on April 2, some residents spoke and criticized the plan because of the tax increase associated with it. Some talked disparagingly about services, such as the Cheshire Community Pool. Joe Schmitt suggested the pool subsidy should be used elsewhere, such as for school maintenance. Meanwhile, fellow resident Guy Darter indicated that some employees should be laid off, and services be scaled back, as the economy continues to flounder.
Town Manager Michael Milone has proposed a $101.8 million Operating Budget, which marks a $3 million, or a 3.10 percent, increase to the current year’s spending. To support the budget taxes would have to increase by approximately 3.8 percent. The average taxpayer with a house and two cars would pay about $256 more annually based on Milone’s proposal.
While some residents spoke out against the budget, others asked the Council to support the proposal. Resident Maura Esposito encouraged members of the Council to adopt the budget and to fund the schools, library and other services used by residents.
The Town Council plans to meet tonight, April 3, and later this week to discuss the budget. The Council is likely to make cuts to the budget proposal before adopting a plan early next week. Council Chairman Tim Slocum said cuts to the proposal will help lessen the tax increase.
The Town Council plans to adopt a budget on Tuesday night, April 9.
Learn more about what the residents had to say at the public hearing in the April 4 edition of The Cheshire Herald.

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